For Brazilian visitors, Portugal is one of the most tranquil destinations! There are train and bus routes connecting the whole country, the cuisine is fantastic, the attractions are spread all over the place and the beautiful landscapes draw sighs all the time. Is easy! However, there are always mistakes that can be avoided on a trip to Portugal!
Here are eight suggestions for what not to do while on vacation in the European nation! See how to avoid becoming mouldy in queues, missing out on Portuguese delicacies, and arriving in Portugal without even hearing about some of the country’s most beautiful destinations! Check out:
1. Do not buy tickets to Torre de Belém over the internet
The Torre de Belém is one of the most popular attractions in Lisbon and, as it has control over the number of visitors, it is not uncommon to find a huge queue at its entrance. Myself, the last time I went, it was high season, I spent more than two and a half hours in the midday sun waiting for my turn to enter. I had purchased the Lisboa Card, which gives access to some attractions in the city, but unfortunately it does not guarantee skip-the-line entry. So this is the golden tip: the quickest way to enter the Torre de Belém is to buy the ticket online through the Ticket Bar website . Then, just take the printed ticket on the day of the visit and access the monument without any queue!
2. Wait in the long line to go up the Santa Justa Elevator
In the center of Lisbon, you will certainly have the attention attracted by a beautiful iron construction: the Santa Justa Elevator, opened in 1902 to link Baixa to Bairro Alto. And you will probably see a long line of tourists waiting to turn into one of the two elevators and climb to the top, where the Santa Justa viewpoint is. It turns out that, to get to the lookout point, it is not necessary to take the elevator – unless you make a point. And the reminder is worth it: you stay less than a minute inside it and there is no view of the city, as it is mostly covered in wood.
If you don’t want to waste time, my suggestion: go straight to the surroundings of Convento do Carmo, cross the Santa Justa Elevator walkway and go up the stairs that lead to the viewpoint (the ticket costs 1.50 euros, while the elevator is more expensive). the lookout cost 5.30 euros). There, enjoy the view, with the fullness of those who saved time and money!
3. Wasting a lot of time waiting for Tram 28 in Lisbon
This is a very controversial tip! Going up the Alfama district, in Lisbon, on board Tram 28 is one of the main adventures in Lisbon. However, the lines to board the cable car are usually long, going from two hours in high season (under a sun like that!). If you have the disposition and some physical preparation, choose to climb the slopes of Alfama on foot. Along the way there are escalators (which are, by the way, very close to the tram stop 28, at Praça Martim Moniz) and elevators that can assist in the mission to reach the top of the neighborhood.
To tell you the truth, the climbs are not so exhausting. The path is made up of interesting shops, restaurants with tasty dishes, colorful houses, lively neighborhood, clothes on the bar, charming alleys and a lot, but a lot to be seen and appreciated calmly – something that, in the tightness of the interior of Tram 28, you probably won’t be able to do it. Who there agrees with me?
4. Do not rent a car to go to the Algarve
Unless you have a lot of time and patience, it is not worthwhile to travel the Algarve with public transport. Bus lines are few, do not lead to the most hidden beaches (often the most beautiful) and the schedules are not so frequent. The best way to travel the famous Portuguese coast is by car. With it, you can travel from end to end stopping at all beaches for as long as you want.
However, we know that renting a car puts a good deal of weight on the budget. If you can’t afford these costs, go to the Algarve by train or bus, stay and a region where you can get to know the largest number of beaches on foot, by trails, using municipal bus lines or by hitchhiking by app and, eventually, rent a car for a day to be able to explore other regions of the Algarve.
5. Pay to watch a night of Fado
It is not that it is exactly a mistake to pay to watch a night of Fado in Lisbon. There are several good Fado houses with a restaurant, which guarantee spectacular nights – but which only work with advance booking and can cost up to more than 50 euros. Without you waiving dinner, it is still possible to pay for the show, sometimes with the right to a complimentary drink, for values up to 25 euros.
However, here is the truth: it is possible to pay nothing (!) And still enjoy some of the best known musicians of the Lisbon Fado. A good option is Tasca do Chico, in Bairro Alto, where Lisboners gather to drink beer, eat snacks and, in the dark of the environment, listen to the beautiful Portuguese melody.
6. Go to Portugal without having heard of Serra da Arrábida
I put my hand on the fire: most tourists who arrive in Portugal have never heard of Serra da Arrábida. And this is a huge mistake! It is about 40 km from Lisbon and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches we have ever visited in Portugal. The most common is, being in Lisbon in the summer, stopping over in Cascais, which has beaches and very easy access (just over 30 minutes by train). But, between us: if the subject is the beach, Serra da Arrábida is infinitely more beautiful.
The beaches have calm, crystalline waters and blue-green tones. There are parking lots in the region and it is also possible to get there by bus, passing through Setúbal and then taking a municipal line to the beaches. The trip can be a bit more laborious and even take longer than going to Cascais, but if you have time, spend a day there!
7. Do not try the typical sweets of each city visited
In order not to make this mistake, a simple strategy is enough: when you arrive in a new Portuguese city, stop at the first confectionery / bakery and ask for the typical sweet of the city, which is not uncommon (and to the delight of ants travelers) it is more than that a!
These are just an example. Conventual sweets, delicious and traditional, are present in practically all Portuguese regions. And they tell a lot about the history of each place. Not bad to know more about the local culture while sweetening your life, right?
8. Not being prepared to enjoy most of Portugal
Portugal is indeed a very easy destination to visit – mainly due to the language and also the good transport network in practically the whole country. But those who think they can leave everything for the last minute are wrong, who think that it is not necessary to read enough to put together a script that is ideal for their traveler profile, who does not research which are the must-see restaurants in each destination and who does not take comfortable shoes to be able to go up and down the slopes of Portuguese cities without any major problems!